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Texas Photo TR-Kemah B\W - SF Fiesta -Sea World SA - SFOT


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Gratings Coaster freaks (even the sad and pathetic ones). I have finally made the trip to the Southern end of Texas where I find myself hunting the elusive coaster credit. The first day on my journey (7/14/10) brought me almost 500 miles to the Southern Houston and the Houston Space Center and Kemah Boardwalk. Lucky for you, have brought my camera and ready to unleash a frenzy of culture and Texan Parks.

 

I took the scenic route on my journey, taking the "business" route as much as I could off the highway and came across many interesting towns. Texas is great, where can you visit Paris and Palestine all in one day? Or run across towns such as Frognot and Gay Hill, or even a town called Lady Trin, heck most maps haven't even heard of some of these. They even had towns that had it all figured out. For example, one town had Prosperity Bank which was next door to Wilson Money Management, which was next door to a Bankruptcy Lawyer. Another town had a Church, which was next door to a Funeral Home, which was directly across the street (with crosswalk) from a hospital. One stop shopping at it's best. Take out the loan, mis manage the loan, then can't pay the loan back. Go to the hospital, don't make it, go to the funeral home, then off to the church, and then behind the church, yes, it's the cemetery. Easy and convenient, I'm impressed.

 

But you didn't stop by this thread just to read now did you? Nope, you came by to look at pictures, so here were go. I will start off with a few pictures of Houston Space Center Culture. If you are coming down for the bay area (Clear Lake is a nice area) or just a day trip to Kemah and not have stopped by the Space Center, you should, especially if you have kids, they will love it. I don't have kids, but still enjoyed my day.

 

Tickets right now on the internet are 14.95 (5.00 off) but they get that 5.00 park at the parking lot, which is the only NASA Space Visitors Complex that I can remember that charges to park, Huntsville may have started, but didn't last I was there.....So get your lean on folks!

1861802902_NasaHoustonSpacveCenter008.jpg.0b3ea3cc6ded07b33e47e4865b78ca2d.jpg

Steers are very important to the Houston Space Program.

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This one is arguing with a tree, I wonder who is going to win

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Inisde the Astronaut Training Facility you will find a mock up of the Quest air lock, you always hear about it, well, hear is a full size, ready to go to space, realife, test module

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The training area is setup identical to how the space station is setup

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Nerd shot! There is more power in my laptop than those things!

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See those rovers in the back left? They hope to put them in space.....in 2030. They will be about as outdated by then as those computers they are using, LOL.

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Modified Shuttle Robotic arm, this one works on earth, the real one doesn't

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This isn't your average pocket rocket boys.

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But there is one housed in this building!

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Nerd shot, I wonder what these wires do...hmmm...

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Finally we leave our culture journey and head up the road 6 miles to the Boardwalk, see you there in a bit!

Edited by chadster
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Ok, next up Landry's Kemah Boardwalk. Small, but a good collection of rides. ClubTPR got me a 12.00 wristband at the ticket booth. They had to get a supervisor to sign off on the discount, but quickly got me on my way. Nice peaceful area, and everything was clean and in working order. When combined with other activities in the Houston area, this would be a great way to cap off the evening. Everything was walk on, or wait one cycle (Bullet)

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We arrive to the boardwalk free parking lot and the first thing I saw was a big woodie.

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I rode the front, middle, and rear. And much like an Ex, kind of a rough ride, but the more I rode it, the better I liked it.

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Ultimately I preferred the middle, gave me a better sense of speed. The train did seem to hunt a bit, but I can live with that.

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Observation Tower. But that's kinda, um, obvious tho, isn't it?

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Entrance.

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Off we go in seach of a funnel cake.

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Restaurant Row

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Natural Spring

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we're being invaded by aliens@!!!!

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"Dancing" Fountains

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Choo Choo!!

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Boardwalk, peaceful, and dead.

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Ahh, Mexican food, Spring Specials in July......hmmmm....

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maybe those sping specials went right through everyone, cuz no one's in here eating.

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sunset

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Ike leftovers?

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fresh seafood, where the only thing they overlook is the water.

Edited by chadster
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and last round of pic's

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Bell's used to have one of these....ahh. bell's, RIP

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stairway to heaven

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guarded by this freaky character

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full shot of the double decker

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The Big Wheel

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Flyer, it was actually a fun ride, made me smile anyways.

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Drop in the back ground. That was an intersting experience, jerked so bad when it let go that it felt let someone punched me in the nads.

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Inverter, no thanks.

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for you train nerds.

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The wipeout had a really good ride program, lasted a while and good variations, foward, backward, and high spped backward spin

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Swing batter batter batter

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The Boardwalk Beast

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The observation tower control panel, aka nerd shot

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it's been inspected and ready to run. good to know

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from the top of the tower

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say good nite gracie

Edited by chadster
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I let me tired a$$ donkey rest over night and made the short drive from Houston to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio on 7.15.10. Got a nice room on the riverwalk (ok, at the end of the riverwalk, but it was cheap, and that's what I like)

 

Judging by the parking lot, the park seemed to be at about 50% capacity. They had one ride down, the Frisbee, which didn't look like they were working too hard on it. In a sign of the six flags cutbacks to impress their investors with a $30-$35 stock price (no thanks) the staff cut backs were obvious. The only two coasters that were running two trains were Superman and Rattler, however, each of those rides only had to employees on the platform making for a slow load/unload process. These aren't short tracks and takes several minutes to run the course and often times a train sat in the break run for several minutes waiting. On Superman, there was only one loader which made it even slower, although she was trying as hard as she could to keep up, you could tell it was wearing her down. They also took the rattler off the flash pass list for the day as a result of manpower, making it mostly useless except for maybe Goliath. Goliath was only sending out about 12, maybe 14 trains an hour, average wait time was about 20-25 minutes, kinda aggravating knowing they could have adding capacity and still sent the trains out full or close to full each time. Also missing was Mr. Six (screamscape said he got the ax) and locker attendants. With reduction in staff comes longer wait times and many of the major attractions. I spoke to one employee guarding the flash pass entrance for a bit and just made a random comment that it sucked only having one person checking seats and that it was a cheesy way to save money, they chuckled a bit and said yeah, I know.

 

Another thing I noticed vs. other SF parks is that a security guard was stationed at each the four rides that required you to put your crap in a lock box, don't know if they always do this, or they are making use of staff on hand after others have quit?

 

But all in all, it was still a nice clean park, in a really nice part of town, the staff were friendly, and the rides were performing very well, and with the exception of the coasters with little staff or only one train, wait times were short, good thing I didn't get the flash pass! The Rattler is true to it's name and although it is a long ride with a large footprint, the almost triple circle (i won't call it a helix) was kinda boring. The best part of the ride was the first 1/4 and last 1/4. Poltergeist was awesome, and made me a little dizzy, which was cool. The Boomerang was surprisingly smooth, and Goliath was a nice ride, tho very suspiciously similar to a batman, hmmm.

Edited by chadster
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pics....

155079813_SixFlagsFiestaTexas001.jpg.477903f0f2ac6e675ae4ac277e5d8562.jpg

Ahhh, it's Batman, opps, sorry, I mean Goliath, I just get used to seeing the Batman layout and all that I just assumed this was another

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there she goes! weeeeeeee

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atmosphere pic

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more atmosphere

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look daddy!! look, they have a boomerang!! can we? can we?

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this will be the only picture of the water park you will get.

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fillerup

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film festival?

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The rattler...up, up...

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up some more...and....

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awayyyyyy.....

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official six flags repair

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this thing is quite large

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noted.

Edited by chadster
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more pics

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the gully washer, line closes at 6:30 so they can get your the $%$%!@ out of this part of the park for their night show

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more atmosphere, well kept and in working order.

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nice view

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for ten bucks you come back again, just not after august 22, and now, not during the holidays

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six flags wouldn't be complete with this

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for you menu freaks

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decent ride program

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noted

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ahhh, now in my top 5 of favorite B&M's

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weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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wiggles world

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yes, i was THAT sad and pathetic...i feel like such a whore

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2 wide swing, yes!

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wanna bet?

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dry as a bone

Edited by chadster
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last of the six flags fiesta texas pics

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gotta have a ship

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the ss overboard

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frisbee broke...

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took apart

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tony hawk

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look, robb, twistyyyyyy

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and twisttyyyyyyyy

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ohhhhhhhhhhhh

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crap

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so does the little bunny hill on this log flume ride count as a credit? don't answer that.

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indoor food court

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not sure why i took a picture of this, and since i'm not sure why, I'm also not sure why I'm posting it.

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wrapped stairs to go with the wrapped coasters

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with strident, you too can practice safe breath

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and finally, we end our journey with

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one picture of a water slide. Next up, Sea World

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Next up I ventured over to Sea World San Antonio (7/16/10). I have never had a disappointing experience with any of the Adventure Parks, and this was no exception. The park was in terrific shape for being hotter than hell. The park opened at 10, closed at 9. Rides opened at 11, closed at 8. So unless you want to see the penguins or coral reef after 8 or before 11, there isn't a whole lot else to do. Shamus last show was at 7:30ish and they put on a good performance. I ended up getting a quick queue wrist band and glad I did. The Steel E had a 1 hour wait early in the day and the water attractions, specifically the rapids ride had a two hour wait. For those not familiar with hour it works at SW, its simple, pay 15 for one front of line ride on each attraction, or 25 for unlimited with double rides. I chose the 25. Basically, you go up the exit ramp, and wait at the exit (except for Atlantis) The attendant sees you, and puts you on the next boat/train. No waiting, to QBot scrolling or waiting for it to tell you when you can ride, you just ride. Pretty cool I thought. The only exception was on steel eel, to make it a little more fair, they only put quick queues on every other train as they only had one train online. With an hour wait, I'd have to thing there was something wrong with the second train to not have it on the track as The Great White eventually went to two trains.

 

But it was a good day despite being hot and my having the worst sunburn I've ever had, I even went as far as to use sun screen multiple times, and finally when I got to the hotel, but burn gel on my head....

1694227803_SeaWorldSA001.jpg.aa669b26d7a3ba29ad7b57d4ef94b9a7.jpg

I have arrived!

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Greated with a fountain

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First up on the list, getting my whoredom out of the way on the Shamu Express

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Noting the performance schedule

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I thought about riding this too, but the parents were already looking at me like i was some kinda perv for riding Shamu. I told them I was scared of the big rides.

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place to cool off

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Ahh, my now 3rd favorite invert, behind Montu and Patriot

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Anyone up for some EEL?

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woa there sod buster, not quite yet.

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be patient

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wait for it

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weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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these guys weren't doing much, so I'll skip the portraits

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hmmm, what is this? Something to get wet on, it's already 93 outside, might as well

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you really don't get wet at all on it

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but it is a really good log ride layout besides the lack of themeing

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i think these guys were going to count it as a credit

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quaker catcher game

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this ones for Mr. Gator

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so is this one

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and this one, for the hell of it, I'll send them his way later. Speaking of late, more pics later

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last of the pics

1121824491_SeaWorldSA067.jpg.08b1e527fad097084e23d9b3954cc2e0.jpg

Shark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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what do you mean shark, this is no shark, liar.

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oh, @#^@#^@*&@!#) Shark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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weee

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i could ride this all day, much like patriot

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birds, in their natural habitat

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"hey, what are you looking at, perv"

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"i heard what you did, we all talk over here"

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"so quit riding Shamu, you whore. Now leave me alone, I can't even look at you, sad sad man"

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the rapids will get you wet, 100% positive of that

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Journey to Atlantis had a 1 hour wait, for me, a 1 minute wait.

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those people in line were so pissed

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but i don't care, I'm now wet, and they aren't. Its now 99 outside.

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noted. those are some steep rocks they have here....

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pretty

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The EEL had some surprising and welcome air time over all hills, just brace you self for when you get the bottom of the hill and it slams you into the seat

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Testing for some reason, but who really cares.

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time to feed the dolphins, such a small swimming pool for all of them, but i suspect they don't care, they get fed and played with all day

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cheap cakes

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lets check this out

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nice

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jaws

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"you can't see me"

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"you can't see me"

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but we can see you, you lazy shark

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"#@#$^@$&%&^@ Leave me alone, YOU CAN'T SEE ME!!!!"

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^^Thanks, glad you like. I have more to add tomorrow on SFOT (it was hot hot hot and I didn't stick around long) SFFT had mediocre crowds, most were in the water park or at Goliath/Rattler/Superman. You could tell they were skimping on staff to make up for the attendance short fall. It's in a great area of town IMO and a clean solid parke, and for their sake would like to have seen the park busier which would add more trains to the tracks and more staff to the payroll. The new CEO is definitely looking at each park individually and making adjustments as needed. They have billboards up all over town and frequent radio ads, so they are trying to build a report with the locals, that's for sure. But like so many SF parks, they need to add something new (besides a parade) or refurbish/retheme rides every few years to keep the locals coming back.

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Yeh...I totally agree. SFFT has usually had mediocre crowds during the week. My sister takes my twin nieces frequently during the week due to the lower crowds. The good thing that SFFT has going for it is the Water Park since it keeps some crowds light during the week in the regular park. I'm sure if Sea World wasn't around, SFFT would have a lot more attendance but when you have a competing park 10 miles or so down the freeway......it doesn't help. The good thing is for SFFT is the location is excellent with all the retail and hotel business that has popped up around the park over the years. Hope they can beef up the attendance though.

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OMG, was Sea World ever packed this past Friday. They were comning in by the bus load. That was my first visit there in, well, since after it opened many many years ago. They were busy finishing up something in the kids area and again, most were in the water park, Shamu, or the three water rides. That being said, I very much agree they are taking a chunk out of SFFT's market share and have this refill bottle promo for season pass holders, pay 25 bucks and get free refills all year.

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^^

Yeh man...I hear ya. Sea World takes a HUGE chunk of the market share in San Antonio. SFFT just needs to figure out how to get a lot of them to their park too! They do need to work out some good promos to get the people in.

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time to feed the dolphins, such a small swimming pool for all of them, but i suspect they don't care, they get fed and played with all day

 

I like SeaWorld San Antonio, but its animal exhibits are a bit weak when compared to, say, SeaWorld Orlando's. All of SWSA's dolphins reside in what is basically the equivalent of SWO's dolphin nursery area!

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For my final park, I drove up to SFOT for about the 6th time this year. (My sis lives around Dallas) I was greeted at the parking lot by an abundance of staff directing traffic and taking money (or season pass parking in my case). just 20 minutes after opening, the parking lot was filling up. The temperature was rising (10:50 = 96) so I got a move on. There was a major difference in staffing levels and park attendance vs SFFT. While you could tell that they had adjusted some outlets to open later and of course a few rides (uggg, why on a hot day would they not open the rapids until noon?????), any reduction in staffs that had been done at other parks were clearly not done here. Fully staffed, and fully packed. The rides that weren't have heat related trouble (we will get to that in a minutes) were running fantastic. Shockwaves winter/spring rehab did it well as the trains were running smooth and the ride was performing well. Batman and Mr. Freeze both had their A/C's runnin which was a welcome sign, and outside shockwave was a giant inflatable coke bottle that you could walk in, play video games, get your picture took, have free coke, and cool down to 70. I put my camera up in a lock box early on and just didn't have the umph two hours later to get more pics but there are plenty running around the site anyway.

 

So.....here are the few pics I have

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Titan was running well, and I didn't get stuck on it!!! Line was short early on, but got longer as more people migrated to the back of the park. Always start at the back....

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The all new texas giant lift hill. No one out working on it today, and can't say that I blame them. 11:15 = 97

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La testing, opened a short time later, didn't ride it, and if you haven't been to SFOT, don't be fooled by the long line, it goes really fast, usually a 30 minute max wait

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hmmm, I would have to dig for old pics, but I could have sworn this used to be the Mr. Six Dance Party, it's now the Looney Toons Dance party? Maybe I'm wrong, but it would give strength to screamscapes rumor that Mr. Six is being retired.

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Plenty of shopping to cool off in

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passing by kiddie land

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still got places to eat

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this is a cool new addtion, they actually have non theme park logo clothes in here, geared toward the tween crowd.

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Aquaman's (wet boat ride) sign is looking sparkly

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Tony hawk was suffering from heat exhaustion

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maintenance was working hard to get it going, and it did open around 11:30 which by the way = 99

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the cho cho opens at noon, but they offer you a ride on the mine train as a substitute

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superman power of tower was also suffering from the heat, only up shots, no down shot after the up. Was told the ride would overheat when attached to the top charging up and then go into fault, I wouldn't want to be up 325 feet and then get stuck, been there, done that.

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so we head to batman were I left my camera in a lock box to finish riding, so this is where the pics end. BTW the temp now is to damn hot to be outside

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up

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up

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and over, weeeeee. I hurt my ribs on the rattler and could only stand to ride once, but it was worth it.

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as we leave for the day, I must note it is still a clean, friendly park, and look forward to returning soon, well, maybe in september when it cools off!

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Wow, SeaWorld has changed a lot since I was last there. I remember when I watched the construction of the Steel Eel. Don't ask me how I remember though.

 

 

And I salute you for ever going to SFOT this time of the year. I can't even step outside without almost dying. Good thing that it's open most of the year.

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^Thanks, it was a scorcher that's for sure and I only last an hour and a half. I too am glad it's open most all of the year, I just hope this year since the giant will be down during the holiday's that they open batman and run at least one train, likewise on Mr. Freeze.

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